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what has been so often advanced by different Hiftorians, as to Wolfey's Father being a Butcher and poor, and for that End he mentions a Will, faid to be made by Robert, the Father; the Subftance of which here. follows, Item,
perceiving this Chaplain to be < a Man of a very acute Wit,! thought him a meet Inftrument to be imployed in greater • Affairs.
Now the Bishop of Winchefter, and Sir Thomas Love!!, whom the King moft efteemed, as the chiefeft of his Council, one Day, adyifing and debating ⚫ with themselves upon this Embaffage, and by this time they faw they had a convenient Occafion to prefer the King's Chaplain, whofe excellent Eloquence and Learning they highly commended unto the King's Highness, who giving C ear unto them, and being a • Prince of an excellent Judgment and Modefty, he commanded them to bring his Chaplain (whom they fo commended) before his Grace; and, being come, his Majefty (to prove his Ability) entered into Difcourfe with him, concerning Matters of State, whereby the King had fowell informed himfelf, that he found him to be a Man of a fharp Wit, and of fuch excellent Parts, that he thought him worthy to be put
Not long after it happened, that the King had an urgent Occafion to fend an Embaffador to Maximilian the Emperor, who lay at that prefent in the Low Countries at Flanders, and not far from Calais.
in truft with Matters of great⚫er Confequence.
The King, being now refolved to imploy him in this Embaffage, commanded him thereupon to prepare himself for his Journey; and, for his Difpatch, wifhed him to re· pair to his Grace and his Council, of whom he should receive his Commiffion and Instruction. By means whereof he had then a fit Oscafion to repair from ⚫ time to time into the King's Prefence, who had thereby daily Experience of his fingular Wifdom and found judgment. Thus having his Difpatch, he took his Leave of the King at Richmond, about Four of the Clock in the Afternoon, where he launcheth forth in a Graveend Barge with a profperous Wind and Tide; and his happy Speed was fuch, that he arrived at Gravefend in a little more than three Hours, where he ⚫ tarried no longer than the Poithorfes were provided, and he travelled fo fpeedily, that he came to Dover next Morning, where the Paffengers were under Sail to país to Calais; fo that long before Noon he arrived there, and, having Pofthorfes prepared, departed from thence without tarrying, making fuch hafty Speed, that he was that Night with the Emperor Who, understanding of the
Item, I will, that if Thomas my Son be a Pziest within a Hear next after my Decease, then I will that he sing for me and my Friends by the Space of a Bear, and he to have fo? his Salary ten Marks; and if Thomas my Son be not a Pziest, then will that another honest Priest sing for me and my Friends for the Term aforesaid, and he to have the Salary of ten Barks.
Item, will that Joan my Dife have all my Lands and Tenements in the Parish of St. Nicholas in Ipfwich, and my free and Bond Lands in the Psiche of St. Stoke. The Residue of my Goods, not bequeathed, I give and bequeath to Joan mp Wife, Thomas my Son, and Thomas Cady, who I make Erecutors of this my Testament, and do ozder Richard Farrington Supervisor thereof.
And, having Post-horses in a Readiness, came to the Court at Richmond that fame Night, where (taking his Repofe until Eng-Morning) he prefented himself unto his Majefty at his firft coming out of his Bed-chamber to his Closet to Mafs, whom, 'when he faw, he checked for ⚫ that he was not in his Journey.
Sir, (quoth he) If it may pleafe your Highness, I have al ready been with the Emperor, and dispatched your Affairs, 1 truft to your Grace's Contentation: And thereupon presented the King with his Letters of • Credence from the Emperor.
The King wondering at his fpeedy Return, (he being fo 'well furnished with all his Proceedings) for the prefent diffembled his Admiration and Imagination in that Matter; and demanding of him, whether he encountred with his Pursuivant, which he fent unto him with Letters, imagining him to be fcarce out of London, which concerned very material PaffaB 4 • ges,
the Arrival of the King of Eng-
The Embalador declares the Sum of his Embassy to the Emperor, of whom he craved fpeedy Expedition, which granted him; fo that the next Day he was clearly dispatched, and all the King's Requefts fully accomplished and granted. At which Time he made no further Stay, but took Poithorfes that Night, and rode without Intermiffion to Calais, being conducted thither by divers Nobles appointed by the Emperor; and at the opening of the Gates of Calais he came thither, where the Paffengers were ready to return for England; infomuch that he arrived at Dover between Ten ⚫ and Eleven of the Clock in the Forenoon.
This Will (fays Fiddes) of Robert Wolfey of Ipfwich is dated September the 21ft, in the Year 1496, and the Reference in it to his Son Thomas, who is fuppofed to have been bred a Scholar, and designed for a Prieft, renders it not fo much probable as a Matter past all Doubt, (if we may judge from the 'Circumstance of Time and Place, and frorn the • Agreement of Names and perfonal Characters) that
this Robert was, in Fact, the Father of Thomas, after⚫wards Cardinal Wolfey; who, as he had no Ecclefiaftical Preferment till the Time of his being inftituted
S ges, which were omitted in their Confultation, which the King earnestly defired fhould have been difpatched in his • Embaffage.
Yes, for footh, (quoth he) I met with him Yesterday by the Way; and tho' I had no Knowledge thereof, yet notwithstand ing I have been so bold (upon my own Difcretion) perceiving the Matter to be very necessary, in that Behalf I difpatched the fame. And forafmuch as I have been fo bold to exceed my Commiffion, I most humbly crave your Royal Remigion and Pardon.
The King, inwardly rejoicing, replied, We do not only pardon you, but give you our Princely Thanks, bath for your good Exploit, and happy Expedition. And difmiffed him for that prefent, and bad him return to him again after Dinner, for a further Relation of his Embaffage, and fo the King went to Mafs.
It is not to be doubted, but this Embaffador had all this while vifited his great Friends, the Bishop of Winchester, and Sir Thomas Lovell, to whom he
' had declared the Effect of his
Embaffage; and also his Majefty's Commendations of him, ' did not a little rejoice the wor'thy Counsellors, forafmuch as he was of their Preferment. And shortly after, the King gave him for his diligent Service the Deanery of Lincoln, ' which was in those Days one of the greatest Promotions he gave under the Degree of a Bifhop. And he grew more and 'more in Eftimation and Authority, and was afterwards promoted to be Almoner.
Now not long after, when Death (that favoureth no Estates, nor King, nor Kefar) had taken away the wife King Henry the • VIIth out of this prefent Life ; it was a wonder to fee what Practices and Devices were then ufed, about the young Prince Henry the VIIIth; the great Provifion that was then made for the Funeral of the one, and for the Coronation of the other, by the now Queen Catherine, and Mother after the Queen's Highnefs that now is, whofe virtuous Life Jefu long pre ferve.
tuted to the Rectory of Lymington in the Year 1500, may very well be prefumed to have taken Orders fhortly after the Date of this Will, being at the Time when it was executed in the 25th Year of his Age; befides, had there been any other Wolfey defigned for holy Orders, of the fame Name, Place, and Age with the Cardinal, it is highly credible fome Account of him would have been preferved in Hiftory, or by Tradition, by reafon of his having • at least some diftant Relation in thefe feveral Re
fpects to so very eminent a Perfon; in all Probability he had neither Brother nor Sifter then living, there being no mention of other Children, nor the ⚫ least Provision made in the Will for any.'
It is now generally believed, from what Dr. Fiddes has advanced, that this Robert was Wolfey's Father; if fo, and we reflect that he was feized of feveral Eftates, which, at that Time in the Poffeffion of a Plebeian, were very confiderable, we may infer, Wolfey's Father was not fo poor and mean as reprefented, nor do we find any one good Authority that proves him a Butcher's Son; for, if we compare the Accounts of several Authors, that have wrote concerning Wolfey's Original (fome of which we have before mentioned) with what we have transcribed from Dr. Fiddes, it seems reasonable to believe, that thofe Authors have taken up their Accounts one from the other, without examining into the Juftnefs of the Relation. In fine, upon a new and ftrict Enquiry, feveral Gentlemen in Suffolk are of Opinion, that Wolfey's Father was in truth a reputa ble Grazier in the Town of Ipfwich, and not a Butcher, and poor, as many have afferted.
But could the Relators, who have reported Wolfey as a poor Butcher's Son, fupport what they have alledged by fome good Authority, it was highly commendable in his Father, that he encouraged his Son's Inclination for Learning, by fending him to School,
inftead of putting him to a mean Trade, the latter being the most natural to be expected from a Person in fo low a Station.
However it is agreed, after Wolfey had been at a Grammar School, he was fent to Oxford, and placed in Magdalen College, famous for breeding Men of found Learning. Here Wolfey, at Fifteen, was made Batchelor of Arts, and from thence called the Boy Batchelor; he was foon diftinguished in that University for the extraordinary Progrefs he had made in Logick and Philofophy, nor was he lefs remarkable for his Learning in Divinity, which he principally acquired by early reading the Works of Thomas Aquinas.
For the prefent, we fhall leave Wolfey at Oxford to purfue his Studies, and lay before the Reader the Hiftory of the Affairs of Europe from the Death of Edward the IVth, interspersed with Wolfey's Life to the End of the Reign of Henry the VIIth; and from that Period we intend to continue the Remainder of the Work, by way of Annals, to the Cardinal's Death. Edward the IVth died on the 11th of 1483. Affairs April, 1483, and was fucceeded by his of England. eldeft Son Edward the Vth, at the Age of twelve Years, but was never crowned, being foon removed by the wicked Practices of his ambitious Uncle Richard, furnamed Crouchback, Duke of Gloucefter. As he had only two Nephews, this King, and Richard his Brother, in the way to bar him of the Crown, he immediately formed a Project to get rid of them both. Firft, he got the Protectorship from the Lord Rivers, the King's Uncle by the Mother's Side, whom he seized, and sent him, with the Lord Grey and two Knights, Prifoners to Pontefract Cattle, and placed his own Creatures about the King. Next, he got into his Clutches Richard, the King's Brother. (It is true, the Queen his Mother with great Reluctancy parted with him.) Having thus far fucceeded in his wicked Design, to blind the